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NFLPA’s Strategic Partnership With Octi Brings Fans Closer To Players Via AR


NFLPA’s Strategic Partnership With Octi Brings Fans Closer To Players Via AR

(Courtesy of the NFLPA)

On Thursday, the NFL Players Association and its OneTeam Collective athlete-driven accelerator announced a partnership with Octi. The augmented video company will help fans create clips in which they interact with various NFL player avatars.

(Courtesy of the NFLPA)

Octi applies machine learning and computer vision technology to videos taken on a smartphone. Its app uses skeleton mapping and gesture detection to recognize the human body without need for additional sensors. Images are then overlaid on the phone’s screen.

“The NFLPA and the OneTeam Collective are constantly looking to collaborate with the newest consumer technologies, and we were impressed by Octi’s team and the new platform they have built to change the way we communicate through video,” said the President of NFL Players Inc. and Chairman of the Board of OneTeam Collective, Ahmad Nassar, in a statement. “Octi’s mobile AR technology creates a wide range of opportunities for players and fans. We are incredibly excited about our investment and partnership with Octi.”

Along with its partnership, Octi announced a $7.5 million funding round with help from investors including the NFLPA, Shasta Ventures, I2BF Ventures, Bold Capital Partners, and Day One Ventures. With the funding, Octi plans to build out their team of engineers and find new uses of its proprietary technology.

“The Octi platform offers an entirely new ability to amplify human interaction and communication through a simple smartphone camera,” said the CEO and co-founder of Octi Inc., Justin Fuisz, in a statement. “What makes Octi special is that we’re building our technology to reflect the ways that humans have always expressed themselves through gestures and physicality.”

SportTechie Takeaway

Through the OneTeam Collective and other initiatives, the NFLPA has become one of the more technologically advanced players unions. Last year, the NFLPA launched a partnership with WHOOP, a wearable device that monitors an athlete’s strain, sleep and recovery, and Nassar is becoming a regular at CES. Before this recent deal, Octi won top prize for player marketing and consulting at the OneTeam Collective Pitch Day, held in Minneapolis in January.



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